The Phoenix Suns come into Philips Arena Friday looking to sweep the two-game season series from the Atlanta Hawks. The Suns won the first meeting 92-87 in Phoenix on March 1 and started the Hawks on an active five-game road losing streak.
Atlanta snapped a three-game skid with a controversial 96-92 home victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday after Kobe Bryant missed a game-tying shot in the finals seconds, later criticizing Hawks defender Dahntay Jones for a dirty play and the officials for not calling a foul. Bryant twisted his ankle on the play when he landed on Jones’ foot after attempting a fade away baseline jumper that would have forced overtime.
After the game, Bryant tweeted:
#dangerousplay that should have been called. Period.
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) March 14, 2013
Hawks starters Josh Smith (sprainked knee) and Jeff Teague (sprained ankle) both missed the game against LA, but will return to the lineup tonight joined by fellow starters Kyle Korver, DeShawn Stevenson and Al Horford.
Who?: Atlanta Hawks vs Phoenix Suns
What?: East vs West Showdown (Game #65, Home Game #32)
Where?: Philips Arena (Atlanta, GA)
When?: Friday, March 15, 2013 – 7:30 PM (EST)
How?: SportSouth HDTV / 680 AM & 93.7 FM
Projected Starting Lineups
PG: Jeff Teague | SG: Kyle Korver | SF: DeShawn Stevenson | PF: Josh Smith | C: Al Horford
PG: Goran Dragic | SG: Wes Johnson | SF: Marcus Morris | PF: Markieff Morris | C: Luis Scola
Injury/Inactive Players Report
Atlanta Hawks: Josh Smith (right knee sprain) and Jeff Teague (sprained left ankle) are probable. Zaza Pachulia (sore right Achilles) and Lou Williams (torn right ACL) are out.
Phoenix Suns: Channing Frye (enlarged heart), Jermaine O’Neal (personal reasons) and Marcin Gortat (lisfranc sprain, right foot) are out.
Current Records/Streak & Hot, Lukewarm, or Cold
Records: Atlanta Hawks (35-29) … Phoenix Suns (22-43)
Streaks: Atlanta Hawks –> OVERALL: Won 1 / HOME: Won 1 / ROAD: Lost 5 … Phoenix Suns –> OVERALL: Lost 1 / HOME: Lost 2 / ROAD: Lost 1
Home/Away Records: Hawks are (20-11) at home … Suns are (7-26) away.
Atlanta Hawks: Cold. The Hawks snapped a three-game losing streak with a controversial home victory over the Lakers on Wednesday but have dropped six of their last eight games overall.
Phoenix Suns: Cold. Phoenix has lost four of their last five games and post a 7-26 record on the road. They’re tied with the New Orleans Hornets for the worst overall record in the Western Conference.
Season/Past Season Series
Phoenix visits Philips Arena for the only time this year in the second-and-final contest with the Hawks. The Suns posted a 92-87 home win in the first meeting on 3/1. Al Horford scored 20 points to pace Atlanta, while Goran Dragic had 19 points for Phoenix. The Suns have taken the last two games at Philips Arena, with Atlanta’s last home win coming on 1/15/10 (102-101). Phoenix leads the all-time series 67-48, with the Hawks holding a 29-25 advantage in home games.
LAST MEETING – SUNS 92, HAWKS 87 — US AIRWAYS CENTER (PHOENIX, AZ )– 3/1/13
A tightly contested first quarter ended with Phoenix leading 21-19. A 12-2 second quarter Hawks run put the visitors up 33-27 midway through the stanza, but the Suns closed the half on an 8-0 spurt for a 44-39 edge at the break. Phoenix also closed the third quarter on a 7-0 run to take their biggest lead of the night (72-61) heading to the final frame. Atlanta wouldn’t get closer than five the rest of the game. Al Horford continued his hot play with a game-high 20 points, including a career-best two three-pointers. Kyle Korver scored 17, Devin Harris 12 and Anthony Tolliver 11, while Josh Smith grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds. Goran Dragic was the only Suns starter in double-figures with 19. Phoenix’s bench accounted for four double-digit scorers, helping outscore the Hawks reserves 58-34.
Larry Drew coached Lindsay Hunter as an assistant with the Pistons in 1999-00. Anthony Tolliver, Michael Beasley and Wesley Johnson were all teammates with Minnesota the last two seasons. Lester Conner coached Jermaine O’Neal as an assistant with the Pacers in 2007-08. Suns radio broadcaster Tim Kempton played three games for the Hawks in 1995-96.
Information was used from the Hawks and Suns official gamenotes